Design Tips: Choosing the Right Paint Color to Go with Your Flooring

Design Tips: Choosing the Right Paint Color to Go with Your Flooring

Color is the most powerful design element that you will use when decorating your home. Finding the right paint to go with your flooring creates a sense of harmony, provides a powerful foundation for furnishings and shows off architectural details.

Coordinating Your Wood Floors and Wall Color
The most important element in coordinating wall color and flooring is the undertone of the wood. Some floors have a warm yellow tone, others have a reddish tone, and a lot of the reclaimed wood being used has a grayish undertone.

Once you know the undertone, then it is time to bring out the color wheel. The color wheel that most of us learn about in art class plays a large part in choices made when designing a room. Neighboring colors are harmonizing, and complementary colors, those on the other side of the wheel, enhance and contrast.

Creamy white is a good choice no matter what color the flooring. It is the most popular color, with 45% of kitchens painted white.

Cool tones bring out the warmth of honey-toned wood, like Wedgewood blue. Grey tones are also great with light wood floors. Floors with reddish undertones are highlighted by green or blue. It also works well with terracotta walls. Dark floors and grey-toned floors work with most colors. Use them as a neutral and pull a color from one of the fabrics used in the room. Or a piece of artwork.

Carpeting Can Be Neutral or Statement Piece
Whether you are working with an area rug over a wood floor or wall-to-wall carpeting when choosing a wall coloring, think about what you want your rug to do for the design of your room.  

Rugs can be the same color as the wall, making them a neutral. Or they can be the compliment to wall coloring, becoming a focal point. As a focal point, a rug can define a space. It can make a long narrow room look wider, or pull the eye to a specific piece of furniture, like a couch or a bed.

For more information about using carpeting to reshape a room, check out our story about patterned carpeting.

If you have a favorite color or two, use them. But, remember that as you move from the floor to the ceiling colors look darker.

Colors placed next to each other affect the colors around them. For example, yellow illuminates the colors around it. Red can overwhelm them.  

Different colors affect us psychologically. Green and blue are serene, while pink is an active color.

When Flooring is Not What It Seems
Tile offers a range of styling; looking like wood, cement, marble, and stone. When working with these items, use the same concepts above.

Wood looks in vinyl and tile need to follow the same concepts as a wood floor.

Stone-look flooring needs contrast, whether used on the floor or on a wall. For example, an all-white room is dull. Also, whites are hard to match. If you are using whites or creams, choose a color that enhances the undertones. Grey-toned stone-look flooring works well with cool colors and grays. Creamy undertones look good with warm tones.

Black tiles work well with rich colors, pure white, and grays.